This year, New Zealand pushed Australia out of the top position for highest per capita rates of invasive melanoma in the world. A study published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that while rates of invasive melanoma have begun to decline in Australia, they are on the rise in New Zealand. Researchers believe this is in large part due to less education and awareness around the issue in New Zealand as compared to Australia. With a large number of sunny days per year, a thinner ozone layer than most areas of the world and a high proportion of fair-skinned people, New Zealand faces many challenges when it comes to preventing skin cancer.
That’s why it’s important for residents to know the warning signs, to get their moles examined often and to understand the options available for checking their skin. One of these options is a mole map. This is a thorough and specialized method that is used to check the skin for cancer risk. Below we’ll go over the basics of this method, discuss the warning signs of a cancerous mole and point you to some skin check resources available in New Zealand.
Mole map and where to start
When it comes to mole mapping, a good first step is to assess your own skin type risk. For people with fair skin and a large number of moles, the risk is highest and it’s advised by dermatologists to check moles every 3 months. You can start this process yourself by archiving photos of moles, and then following this up with dermatologist checks.
Mole mapping is a method that creates an overview of the moles on your body. For a lot of people, this means that tens to even hundreds of moles will be tracked and analyzed. A mole map expert or dermatologist will first examine your moles with a magnifying tool that allows them to see any abnormalities in the first layer of skin. Moles are usually then photographed with specialized cameras so that they can be tracked over time for developments and changes.
Mole map resources New Zealand
The good news is there are plenty of options available acrossNew Zealand for getting your moles checked and keeping your skin safe. Acquaint yourself with the skin cancer resources below and get in touch with medical professionals who can check your skin.
Melanoma New Zealand lists several trusted providers on their website.